Jeff Nyikos of Katonah spent years helping the American Cancer Society raise funds in Westchester County with the Evening of Hope gala. On Nov. 18 at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, he'll be one of the honorees.
Everyone has somebody in their life who is affected by cancer, Nyikos says. For him, that person was a friend whose brother was diagnosed with cancer.
Nyikos became involved with the American Cancer Society then as a show of support. It turned out he knew a number of people on the committee and decided to help more regularly. He has been chair of the Evening of Hope for four years.
But this year, he had to step back from running the event. To show its appreciation for all he has done, the committee decided to honor him at this year's event. He'll join Maria and Steven Salzinger and Dr. Al Tinger as honorees.
The money raised at the Evening of Hope events supports Camp Adventure . It is one of the few sleepaway camps that allow children with cancer to bring their siblings with them. The children can play and live life, while medical staff is on hand to administer treatments as needed.
With the majority of the kids, you couldn't tell who had cancer and who didn't. They were all just running around and having fun, Nyikos says of a recent trip to the camp.
Nyikos's work with the committee earned the admiration of Dr. Ash Khorram and wife Lucy of Elite Dental Studios . The Khorrams have also been on the committee for many years and offered Nyikos as their local hero.
For Nyikos, he is happy to help and appreciative of the generosity of those attending the event over the last few years.
Last year, we sent 24 kids to the camp. It costs about $1,000 to sponsor a child and we did it with just a raise of hands, says Nyikos. "That was separate from the silent auction. We just asked who wants to send a child to camp, and 24 hands went up."
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